11 raptors attacking my chickens this morning!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by burtojm, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. burtojm

    burtojm New Egg

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    Jun 29, 2011
    First off, I'm located in Alabama. I was leaving for work this morning and I counted 11 birds of prey first circling, then diving into my front yard and pasture attacking my chickens. They were attacking mostly 1-2 month old baby chicks but there were a couple of BIG birds that had my adult chickens running scared too. I have NEVER seen more than 1 or 2 hawks together so what the heck is going on? Are these hawks or something else?

    I can't shoot them because I think it is illegal but they are wiping me out. I tried to scare them off by shouting and waving but they would only fly higher and circle until they saw me leave the immediate area. I had to go to work so I left and as I was driving across my pasture I saw them circling lower and lower.

    They didn't dive like I thoughts hawks did. They swooped down, then leveled off, then swooped lower then leveled off until they were low enough to attack my chicks. They kind of came in like an airplane landing.

    They are brown/black/white I think. One flew right over my head and it looked like he had redish eyes.

    Can somebody tell me what it was and what I can do? What bird of prey attacks in a group of 11 like that?
     
  2. goldfinches

    goldfinches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have something similar. I origonally thought they were buzzards, until I think one killed a chicken. All I read about on here were hawks, so I assumed they were hawks, but my dad was over the other day and said they were buzzards. But, that's what they do, circle, getting lower and lower. I've never seen one strike, but they're the only raptors I've ever seen overhead, so I have to think they're what got my girl. Mine are black, too, but I don't know if they have red eyes [​IMG]
     
  3. msudawgs56

    msudawgs56 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 26, 2011
    Grenada, Mississippi
    Sounds like buzzards to me.. I have the same here in Mississippi.
     
  4. burtojm

    burtojm New Egg

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    Jun 29, 2011
    No these are not buzzards. I know what a buzzard looks like. There are brown/black speckled on white. You can see their claws hanging when they fly overheard and they are smaller. They are definitely a bird of prey with claws.
     
  5. WKYChick

    WKYChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 10, 2011
    you describe how buzzards will descend on something to eat but buzzards are not known to kill living things, they only eat dead things, it could have been a group of juvenile hawks just off the nest, I will do some research on it

    I went here

    http://www.outdooralabama.com/watchable-wildlife/what/birds/ospreys/

    the osprey is the first hawk that popped into my head, if you live near a body of water then it could have been a group of young ones
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  6. burtojm

    burtojm New Egg

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    Jun 29, 2011
    Yes I guess they could have been. One more thing, their feet/claws whatever were an orange color. Like I said one of them flew so close over my head I could have almost grabbed him. That does sounds like behavior of a young bird. There were mostly smaller ones but there were a couple really big ones too. But 11 is still a big number. Do hawks even have that many babies at once?
     
  7. jbowyer01

    jbowyer01 Just Me!

    Aug 29, 2008
    Hogansville, Georgia
    I live in Southwest Georgia and have seen chicken hawks in packs like that. I've counted up to eight by me and yes they will circle and come back around lower and circle again. They will go after your chickens. We have them bad right now because of expansion being completed in Ft. Benning, Ga. They are clearing thousands of acres and all the wildlife has to go somewhere. Unfortunately its towards me.
     
  8. HLAC

    HLAC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 24, 2009
    Central Utah
    I'd guess they are northern harrier hawks. They tend to fly different than most hawks. They also are not really afraid of people and will soar right you. I believe harriers are known to hunt in groups too.
     
  9. Gmsg01

    Gmsg01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    West Monroe,NY
    Harris hawks hunt in packs, but are mostly arid south west habitat
     
  10. burtojm

    burtojm New Egg

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    Jun 29, 2011
    Quote:Hmmmm. Yea this does sound like what I saw. They were flying to and from a giant tree and the end of my pasture overlooking my pond so yea there is water there. I need to look up a youtube video of the flight motions and see if it looks like what I saw.
     

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